Valerie DeCrescenzo, Outdoor Classroom Specialist

The Outdoor classroom (located on the Primary-aged side of the school) is one of the most desired spaces to be in on campus. Children cannot get enough of the art, nature and science jobs they experience in that space. The architect and facilitator of the outdoor classroom is Ms. Valerie. Having joined FMS in 2001, Valerie is one of our original staff members. She cams to FMS with over 25 years of experience in education. Valerie holds a BS in Psychology and has an Early Childhood Teaching Certificate from the American Montessori Society. She loves Montessori because: “We can teach to the individual; we are all different and children learn at the pace that is right for them.”

Rachel Scarpelli, Music Specialist

Rachel Scarpelli joined the FMS staff in 2018 with an Early Childhood Education Certificate from the Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education, as well as a BS degree from Middle Tennessee State University.  She taught lower elementary for a year, and is now leading the music program for ages 3-12.  As a former performer for the Walt Disney Resort for 7 years, Rachel honed her professional singing and performance skills. She trained at the Florida School of Music and recently completed level 1 Orff Music Certification.  Orff training emphasizes “active music making through singing, playing instruments, speech and movement.” Rachel’s love of voice as a tool for self expression and exploring cultural diversity is matched by the joy she feels when others explore their creativity through music and performance.

Angela Drew, Art Specialist

Since 2004, FMS has had the good fortune of having Angela teaching art to our students. Angela’s love of the creative thought process is matched by her eye for color, patterns, and the endless variety of art classes she has facilitated for the entire school body. Angela came to FMS with three years of experience and a BA in Fine Arts. She is also qualified in Public Programming and Environmental Curriculum. She enjoys photography, hiking and fitness. Her favorite things about Montessori include “seeing the world through the eyes of a child and learning something new each day.”

Maria Pate, Spanish Specialist

Maria joined the FMS faculty in 2006, bringing with her the flavor of her native Spain. She holds an MA in Education (foreign language emphasis) and an MA in Linguistics. Once she discovered the power of the Montessori method, and the true independence it instills in its students, Maria went back to school and obtained her Montessori Certification (3-6 year olds). She came to FMS with over four years of teaching experience and infuses an enthusiasm for learning with all of her students. Maria says: “One of the things that I love about Montessori is how a student become independent. He or she will do a job for their own personal satisfaction rather than to receive praise from parents and/or teachers.”

Robert Ginther, Athletic Director/Physical Education Instructor

FMS is proud to introduce “Coach Bob” to our school community. Bob holds a BA in Physical Education and comes to our school with over 15 years of Physical Education and coaching experience. Having played third base for the San Francisco Giants Minor League, early in his career, Bob brings a unique and well-seasoned approach to his current position. He has seen the positive impact that sports have had on the development of the whole child including cultivating the values of “sportsmanship, integrity and honesty.” Bob has coached Varsity baseball at the high school level, as well as Jr. Varsity girl’s basketball and softball teams. He brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to his new role at FMS and we are confident that he will positively impact FMS’s Physical Education program.